Jonathan Briggs's Reviews > The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft
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Apr 19, 2012

really liked it

Reading this collection straight through isn't recommended as that would spotlight H.P. Lovecraft's rather severe limitations as a writer. His dialogue is atrocious. His descriptions are repetitive (except when he resorts to the copout of the horror so horrible it cannot be described). His heroes are generally wussies prone to faint dead away at the hint of an oozing tentacle. And I'm not even going to get into his virulent racism and unfortunate choice in cat names. But taken in smaller doses, Providence's favorite misogynist/misanthrope/closet case can be surprisingly effective. Lovecraft revels in "foetors" and "ichors" and "squamous" cosmic vaginas from outer outer outer space. In the 1920s and '30s, he and his cronies imagined a pantheon of other-dimensional monsters that influenced just about every other writer in the genre past and present and that still has comic book evangelist Jack Chick quaking today. This best-of collection includes many of Lovecraft's classics: "The Rats in the Walls," "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dunwich Horror" and others. It's the only book the casual fan of Lovecraft should ever need. I kept it by my bedside for whenever I was in the mood for his brand of overcooked pulp. Give me Robert E. Howard any other time of the year, but around Halloween, I always get the hankering to make a return trip to the slimy streets of Arkham.
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